Alex’s Newspaper Report.

Good conditions for the Mid Lancs Cross Country League in Blackpool

It was the start of a wild week and Sunday saw the cancellation of many events across the country, with the Mad Dog 10k in Southport and the British Masters 10-Mile Championships at Lytchett Manor near Poole in Dorset two of the casualties. The Tatton Park 10k in Cheshire managed to go ahead on a revised course but the Muddy Boots near Ripon in Yorkshire was canned. The Windy Hill Fell Race in Littleborough attracted 322 runners over 9 miles with 1281ft ascent.

Saturday however was a relatively balmy day in contrast and the early wind subsided for most of the racing at the latest round of the Mid Lancs Cross Country League at Lawson’s Fields in Blackpool home of the English National back in 1962. Wesham were helping with setting up the course and marshalling, but this didn’t stop a strong men’s and women’s team over the 3-lap 6km and 4-lap 10km races. Kath Hoyer was the leading Wesham woman and she finished 64th and 7th W55 in a time of 31:33 for the 3-lap 6km course. Kay Twist was 74th and 19th W45 in 32:42; Antionette Holton 78th and 23rd W35 with 33:10; Maureen Danson placed 101st and 28th W45 in 35:39 with Louisa Denye 102nd and 30th W45 in 35:52.  Clare Belfield finished 108th and 33rd W35 in 36:38; Jo McCaffery 111th and 34th W35 37:00; and Tanya Barlow was 124th and 35th W45 in 41:54. The Wesham women’s ‘A’ team placed 20th and the ‘B’ team 27th; they were also 11th W35 and 9th W45 team. In the M70 6km Dave Young was 2nd in 34:58 and Peter Bartlett finished 3rd in 35:33. The pair won the team ahead of Kendal who beat them at Burnley, putting Wesham on song to win the season again. In the Senior Men’s 4 large lap 10km race Rob Danson finished 2nd with a great run ahead of the Inter-Counties next month with his time of 34:22 just 19 secs behind Kendal’s first-placed Alasdair Russell with a last-minute battle with chasing Ross Campbell of Barrow. David Taylor was 32nd in 38:26; beating Steve Swarbrick who was recovering from a virus placing 36th and 4th M40 in 38:43. Simon Denye was 39th and 5th M40 with a great run in 38:48, with Mark Belfield 45th in 39:06 and Chris Hastwell and Mark Holton placing 48th and 49th (Mark 7th M40) in 39:16 and 39:18. Les Cornwall finished 57th in 38:29; Andrew Harling was 61st with 39:51; Ugis Datavs came in 66th and 12th M40 in 40:07, with Lee Barlow 110th and 26th M40 in 42:37.  Jason Barlow finished 150th and 29th M50 in 44:41, with John Collier 194th and 7th M60 in 48:03 and  Martin Bates 198th and 8th M60 with 48:51.  Jonathan Lawson finished 215th and 54th M50 in 50:43; Ben Wrigley was 227th with 52:48; James Danson 234th and 59th M50 in 54:15; and Stephen Twist was 236th and 60th M50 in 54:47. The Wesham Senior men’s team were 4th overall and 15th ‘B’ team; the M40 team was 2nd,  a great result; and the M50s were 9th. The club did not score an M60 team although they still have the opportunity to win the season with a good turnout in Lancaster next month. The M40s are on for promotion and silver medals in Division 2, as are the Senior team who are top of Division 2 with the ‘B’ team also heading up Division 4.

Despite the wild weather conditions over the weekend Helen Lawrenson completed the Anglesarke Amble from Rivington, a gruelling 25.6 miles over the West Pennine Moors which she completed in 5hrs 6mins. Mark Renshall and Stuart Clayton completed the 43.62-mile Brecon to Cardiff Ultra in a staggering 10hrs 47mins (10 and 17 secs) placing 250th and 251st. With an ascent over the Brecon Beacons in the first half in near blizzard conditions the route then followed the Taff Trail on a more sheltered track from Merthyr on a similar route to the Welsh Castles Relay.

Sharon Cooper ran the Calder Vale Muddy shoes 11 Mile on Saturday, coming in 18th with Anthony Blight, and Nicola Unsworth of Blackpool in 2:09:06.

In the Lytham Hall parkrun at 9am on Saturday before the wild weather kicked off there was a thrilling finish as early leader Alek Walker lost out to event director Neil Tate, finishing in a rounded 19:00 for a new personal best and an age graded performance of 69.82%. Darragh Twist had also been saving his best as he came in with a new best time of 19:56 for 65.38% suggesting he has far more yet to come. Ian Garrod ran a good 20:06 for M55 77.78% and Ian Nichols Hogg also scored a new best with 21:27 for 60.14%. John Burns ran 22:46 for M60 72.99%; Lisa Minns had another new best with 24:57 for a W55 71.61%. Andrew Moore clocked another new best time of 25:05 for M55 62.86%; and Louise Lord ran 25:24 for W45 63.12%. Ryan Azzopardi ran 25:54 for M40 52.70% and Colin Smy 26:10 with M40 52.17%. Veronica Walker scored a new best of 27:00 with 55.06% and Kirsty Holland 29:58 for 54.38%. Keira Twist ran 29:58 for JW15 51.06% with her parents running the Mid Lancs later on and Susan Hopcroft clocked 30:27 a new personal best with W50 57.20%. Julie Rooney completed the Wesham squad with 32;07 for W45 40.46%. Tracey Hulme ran the South Manchester run in Platts Field with 24:08 for W55 76.04% while in Preston’s Avenham Park before it flooded again Steve Abbott ran 18:06 for an M40 77.16% and Elizabeth Johnson clocked 29:08 for W40 52.52%. The Wesham parkrun Tourists went to Lyme Park in Disley on a challenging undulating course in the foothills of the Pennines where Steven Gore ran the 4th fastest time of the day with 22;22 for an M35 grade of 60.13%. Carl Groome ran 24:23 for M50 60.97% and Elliot Costello 27:42 for 46.57%. Vicky Gore clocked 31:58 with W40 49.22% and Sue Rigby 45:52 for W45 34.96%. Anne and George Flanagan were holidaying from their retreat in Spain in Portobello Park in Edinburgh, where Anne clocked 31:28 for W60 62.55% and George 40:17 with M70 43.77%. In Blackpool’s Stanley Park across the road from the later Mid Lancs Dave Marsland ran 23:10 for an M60 grade of 71.73% while Suzanne Leonard clocked 23:47 for W45 69.66% with George Kennedy M60 68.61%. Taking to the Promenade, in Fleetwood  Kim McGuire posted 32:15 for W60 60.16% with Graham Cunliffe 33:54 for M60 48.57% and in Morecambe Rob Wallace clocked 21:49 for an age grade of 59.13% in his first run there.